When 08(97) disappeared just over a month ago, you may recall that we asked for donations towards a satellite tracking fund. Satellite tracking is by far the most effective way for us to monitor the birds fishing habits – and specifically, to identify how many small ponds and lakes that they visit. Furthermore, should a satellite tagged bird go missing, the GPS transmitters will identify exactly where.
The response to this appeal has been truly fantastic and we have raised enough money to buy two new transmitters to add to the one we already have. We are extremely grateful to everyone who has donated money.
Having raised the money, we then needed to catch the birds. Roy Dennis travelled down from Scotland last weekend and under his expert guidance we were able to trap and tag two birds – 09(98) and AA(06).
Following the disappearance of 08, 09 has paired up with 5N(04) at Site N. We know that 09 regularly visits lakes away from Rutland Water and so it was great to catch him. His transmitter is already providing us with a huge amount of extremely valuable data. It shows that he is regularly fishing up to five miles away from Rutland Water.
AA is the breeding male at Site O – the nest that 32(05) and 06(00) disappeared from last spring. AA fledged from the Site B nest in 2006 and first bred successfully last year, raising three chicks with a female originally from Argyll in northern Scotland. Aside from the satellite transmitter we also fitted AA with a new colour ring – he lost his several years ago. His new ring is blue white AW and that’s how we’ll be referring to him from now on.
We’ll update you with the progress of the two males over the course of the summer and will also be following their autumn migrations – with daily updates of their progress on the website.
We hope to fit the third transmitter to one of the two year-old males who has recently returned. We tried to catch 03(09) at an artificial nest that he had visited a couple of days before Roy arrived – but unfortunately he did not come to that nest when we wanted him to. Catching one of these young males will be difficult, but if we are successful, it will provide us with extremely valuable information on the movement of young birds. Roy’s two year old male is revealing a huge amount about the wanderings of young Ospreys when they first return to the UK – see his website for more.